The Field of Art Therapy

What is Art Therapy
Art Therapy is a human service profession that uses the visual arts to communicate feelings
that cannot be expressed by words alone. Clinical experience has demonstrated that the
images produced in making art help externalize and resolve internalized fears, conflicts and
blocks. Credentialed art therapists are specially trained to promote change through
involvement in art making within the context of a therapeutic relationship. The practice of art
therapy is based on an in-depth understanding of basic human behavior, psychopathology and
therapeutic processes. For more information, please visit the
American Art Therapy
Association or the Buckeye Art Therapy Association.

Art therapists work with people of all ages: individuals, couples, family groups and
communities. They provide services, individually and as part of clinical teams, in settings that
include mental health, rehabilitation, medical and forensic institutions; community outreach
programs; wellness centers; schools; nursing homes; corporate structures; open studios and
independent practices.

The Value of Expressive Therapies
When a person suffers a loss or a disability, it sometimes seems as though their whole world
has fallen to pieces. Once normal activities … walking, talking, eating … have to be relearned.
There is a heightened feeling of failure, and the loss of self worth.

The Art Therapy Studio believes that feelings of loss must be replaced with new areas of
growth. Since 1967 over 50,000 people have participated in Studio programs and have
benefited from the healing, creative power of the arts.

Because we believe that the arts have a unique ability to connect our inner and outer worlds,
Studio programs use art, music, and poetry to help people:

  • explore personal potential and problems through non-verbal and verbal expression
  • gain insight, unblock and move forward
  • reconcile emotional conflicts
  • foster self-awareness, personal growth and wellness
  • stimulate mental and physical activity
  • channel anger and relieve depression
  • grieve, cope, reminisce and adapt

There are many ways the Art Therapy Studio helps people put the pieces of their lives back
together. Involvement in art strengthens self-esteem, provides the opportunity for positive
feedback, and allows a person to re-experience themselves as a unique individual. The
expressive art therapies help people express their feelings about serious emotional and
physical trauma. They also provide opportunities for caregivers to express their concerns
and share positive time with their loved ones.

Training and Credentials
Entry into the field of art therapy requires a master’s degree. Traditional students complete
undergraduate work in art and psychology and pursue graduate study in an academic setting.
For more information, visit
Ursuline College's Graduate Program in Art Therapy Counseling.

An art therapist may receive an ATR designation (Registered Art Therapist) after completing
1,000 supervised clinical hours. Further credentialing is available by passing a national exam
to receive Board Certification (BC). For further information contact the
Art Therapy Credentials

The Art Therapy Studio also provides continuing education units to art therapists and other
allied health professionals (see

General Information Sessions for Students
We receive many calls from undergraduate students in the area who would like to learn more
about the field of art therapy. We invite you to attend one of our monthly information sessions
held at our Fairhill Studio.  For upcoming dates, download flyer

Graduate Internships
We gladly accept students currently enrolled in a graduate art therapy program. Please email
your resume and preferred days/time to
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12200 Fairhill Road              Cleveland, OH  44120              216.791.9303
SINCE 1967